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publié le 24 mars 2018 Beauté › Parfum

For now, all of that still applies to the iPad mini 2, even if it is getting a bit long in the tooth. Now that its base model — which includes 16GB of unfortunately non-upgradeable storage — has dropped from $400 to $270, it’s the only Apple device in existence that could reasonably be considered a bargain. Nowadays, you can often find it for less than that.Yes, it’s a little bit pricier than the options below, but the difference in general quality, especially with regard to how better-adjusted iOS is on tablets compared to Android or Windows, is drastic enough to make it worth recommending upfront. If you absolutely cannot go above $200, however, the Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 is only budget Android tablet that can compete with — and, in many ways, best — the mini 2’s convenience. In fact, in terms of pure value, it’s the best buy you can make on any Android tablet today.Much of that is because of how powerful this thing is. It runs on the same Nvidia Tegra K1 SoC and 2GB of RAM as its predecessor — which was also named the Shield, sold for $300, and was recalled last summer over fears of faulty batteries — and that makes it significantly more capable than any other sub-$200 tablet we’ve tested. It’s competing with the iPad Air 2s and Samsung Galaxy Tab S2s of the world more than anything else. The various benchmark tests we ran in our testing only furthered that idea.

This is important, not just because it gives you a strong and speedy slate today, but because it’ll give you something decent in the years to come. That second GB of RAM is a big leg up. The Shield is particularly robust when it comes to graphics performance, which makes sense given how much focus it puts on gaming. Every game we tested was nothing but smooth, but beyond that, Nvidia’s loaded up the device with 3 free months of its (surprisingly fluid) GeForce Now cloud gaming service, the ability to stream your own (compatible) PC games straight to the tablet, and a handful of exclusive (relative to other slates) PC game ports. There’s also a handy mini-HDMI slot, which lets the Shield hook up to a TV and act as a makeshift console. You need to pay another $60 for Nvidia’s (solid) Shield controller to get anything out of this, and GeForce Now’s limited selection makes it an iffy buy, but if you’re into gaming, these are all nice bonuses.Even if you’re not, though, the Shield gets very little wrong. Its 8-inch 1920x1200 display is sharp, bright, and rich for the money. It also uses a 16:10 ratio, which is a little more spacious than the usual 16:9 without making the device unwieldy. It’s not the thinnest or flashiest slate around, but its soft, grippy build is practical, and its front-facing speakers work well. (Though the overly recessed power button is a pain.) The 8-9 hours of battery life (with minimal gaming) is fine. It also supports up to 128GB microSD cards, which is good, since the 16GB of included space is too little for a gaming machine. And again, it’s fast.

Given the price tag, the only real downside here is in the software. Nvidia’s done well to keep a near-stock version of Android 5.1.1 — with an Android 6.0 update available, though you might want to hold off on that for now — but, as mentioned above, Android itself lags behind iOS when it comes to tablet app support and multitasking functionality. The very idea of an “Android gaming tablet” is somewhat self-defeating; since so many games arrive first (or at all) on iOS, most people interested in gaming on the go are still better off with an iPad. Nevertheless, Android is familiar for many, and Nvidia’s extra features can be fun for PC gaming enthusiasts. You’re buying the Shield for how rock solid it is as a tablet, though — this mix of power, display quality, and versatility just isn’t available on any other cheap slate.We’ve highlighted it before, but if you’re willing to invest in world of Amazon, the Fire HD 8 is a nifty little treat. Neither its 1280x800 display, nor its all-plastic design, nor its middle-of-the-road processor is going to wow you, but for a $150 slate it’s all competent and adequate.

If you aren’t downloading something or playing a heavier-duty game, it runs smoothly enough to watch a video or browse the web. Its speakers are excellent, and it supports a microSD card. (Which is good, because this model only has 8GB of room by default.) It gets a decent 8 or so hours of battery life. And while its plastic coat will never feel “premium,” it is smooth, and it comes in a handful of lively colors.The best and worst thing about the Fire HD 8 is its interface. The newest version of Amazon’s Fire OS is a stark improvement over previous iterations, with a cleaner look and a homescreen that more closely resembles traditional Android. It doesn’t have the same tidy app drawer, but it’s simple enough to get around. It also features an extensive set of parental controls.As you’d expect, Amazon’s OS is tightly wound with Amazon’s ecosystem of services. There’s dedicated tabs for your books (so long as they’re with Kindle), video (with Prime Video), music (with Prime Music), shopping (with, um, Amazon), and so on.

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If you’re an active Prime member, this is super convenient. Everything is presented to you on a platter; you can get to all your media with ease, and the Fire HD will serve up smart recommendations for things you might want to check out in the future. You get free unlimited cloud storage for all that Amazon content, and the OS makes it easy to stash Prime media for offline viewing. Other first-party services like Freetime (for kid-friendly content) and Mayday screen sharing (for fast customer support) have their uses as well.If you aren’t a Prime diehard, though, the fact that the whole UI pushes you toward giving Amazon money will get tiresome. Fire OS isn’t exactly helped by Amazon’s app store, either — it has most of the essentials, but it isn’t as deep or dependable as those on iOS or stock Android. Notably, there’s no Google support, which means there’s no Gmail, YouTube, or Google Play Music. On the plus side, initiatives like “Amazon Underground” get you dozens of games for cheap.In the end, the Fire HD is a decent budget tablet that can be a great value — so long as you eat what Amazon’s cooking.

If a 7- or 8-inch screen just won't do, the Lenovo Tab 2 A10 is currently the best big tablet you can get for less than $200. Its hearty 10-inch IPS display is sharp (with a 1900x1200 resolution) and bright, and while its blue polycarbonate build doesn’t feel high-end, it at least looks refined for a budget slate. Its 16GB of storage can be tripled through a microSD card, its speakers are great (though they should be on the tablet’s front, not back), and its beefy battery got us around a truly superb 11 hours of life per charge.The Tab 2’s performance is a bit more mixed, but again, it’s fine for surfing and streaming. The 64-bit, quad-core MediaTek processor and 2GB of RAM will stutter with console-style games or serious multitasking, but for casual browsing and Netflix watching, it gets the job done. Just don’t expect the kind of workhorse you’d get with a Lenovo laptop.Refreshingly, the Tab 2 opts for a clean, nearly stock Android experience instead of inevitably failing with a custom skin. It comes with version 4.4 KitKat by default, but you can upgrade to version 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. There’s very little bloatware — and the unnecessary apps that are here are all totally removable — and the gesture controls Lenovo adds to the proceedings are easily ignorable. (Though some, like drawing an “e” to open your email, can be fun.)

Otherwise, if you’re at all familiar with Google’s mobile OS, you’ll easily be able to get around here. Although Android’s interface and app store aren’t as optimized for tablets as iOS, it’s still a good-looking and highly customizable platform, and it’s only gotten more straightforward for newcomers as the years have passed. When, or if, it'll be updated remains to be seen, however. A Lenovo rep tells us "there should be an upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow in the future," but that they don't have an exact time frame for the release at this time.The Tab 2 A10 has a smaller sibling called the Tab 2 A8 that goes for $75 less, but it’s too widely handicapped to be worth recommending. The A10, meanwhile, is an obvious value, especially when you consider how difficult it can be to find quality 10-inch slates for cheap.For another smaller Android option, try the Asus ZenPad S 8.0. This is the spiritual successor to the Asus MeMo Pad, which itself was as a successor to Asus' old Nexus 7, whose praises we’ve sung before. Much like those devices, the ZenPad looks and feels nicer than its modest price would suggest. It doesn’t have the iPad's aluminum, but its matte-and-leather chassis is slimmer, lighter, and smoother than you’d expect a $200 device to be.

That’s aided by an 7.85-inch 2K (2048x1536) display that, while not as upper-class as that resolution would suggest, is still sharp and lively, with great viewing angles. Its colors could stand be a little more accurate, but it’s better than most of what you’ll find in this price range.This configuration of the ZenPad runs on a quad-core Intel Atom processor and 2GB of RAM. As with the Tab 2 above, it isn’t as consistent with heavier-duty tasks, but it’s more than serviceable for using casually around the house. There’s 32GB of included storage, which is, again, nicely expandable with a microSD card. Battery life isn’t great, though, usually lasting around 5-6 hours per charge. That’s not a huge deal given that lots of people aren’t going to tax their tablets too heavily, but stronger is always better.The bigger annoyance is with Asus’ custom Android skin, ZenUI. It runs over Android 5.1 Lollipop, but it strips away a chunk of the warmness and convenience of the base OS. It’s still Android, so it’s never outright difficult to use, but it’s blander, and much of Asus’ tinkerings aren’t obviously useful. (It does have similar gesture controls as the A10, though, as well as a handy double-tap-to-wake feature.) Thankfully, you can always go to the Google Play store and download an alternate launcher instead.

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You can’t get around the sheer amount of bloatware on this thing, though. Most of it can be disabled or uninstalled, but having to deal with it in the first place is no fun.It’s worth noting that there’s a step-up model of the ZenPad S 8.0 that comes with 4 GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, USB type-C (although we’d rather have this model’s tried-and-true micro-USB port for now), 802.11ac WiFi support (this one’s unfortunately limited to slower 802.11n), and a faster processor for $100 extra. That’s a lot of upgrades, and in practice it is faster and more capable than this unit.But $100 is $100, and you still get the same look, feel, and display here. Go for the step-up if you need the higher-end performance, but the entry-level ZenPad is plenty fine as a budget Android option. The Amazon Fire is a tablet for people who don’t always use their tablets. In many ways, it's the Moto E of slates — a device that isn’t outright good in any one area, but competent in most, which in turn makes it a superb value for its dirt-cheap price tag.

The Fire’s nondescript slab of black plastic neither looks nor feels premium, but it has a level of stability to it that other ultra-budget tablets lack. It doesn’t feel creaky or loose, and it’s proportioned well enough to use easily with one hand.Its 7-inch, 1024x600 display is as fuzzy as that resolution would suggest, but its colors and viewing angles are acceptable for casual use. Its 1.3GHz MediaTek chip and 1GB of RAM aren’t strong, but they do enough for basic web browsing or casual games to be relatively smooth. That’s in part helped by the Fire OS 5 described above, whose Amazon-pushing annoyances are easier to swallow at $50. It only has 8GB of storage but default, but that’s expandable up to 128GB with a microSD card, which is great.I loved "The Jetsons" as a kid — so in late April I said the Apple Watch would not be complete until it got video-chat capabilities.So when I read the latest scoop from 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman, who says Apple plans to add a FaceTime video camera into the top bezel of the second-generation Apple Watch, I couldn't help but get excited.

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